Irish: "bull feast" i.e. feast=meal, but feis may also come from foaid, meaning "sleep"
A magical practice, mentioned in medieval texts1 to determin the successor to the king. This is the description in "The Destruction of Da Derga's Hostel":
A bull-feast is gathered by the men of Erin, in order to determine their future king; that is, a bull used to be killed by them and thereof one man would eat his fill and drink its broth, and a spell of truth was chanted over him in his bed. Whosoever he would see in his sleep would be king, and the sleeper would perish if he uttered a falsehood.
Stokes, Whitely. "The Destruction of Da Derga's Hostel" Epic and Saga. New York, P. F. Collier & son, 1910, Harvard Classics no. 49. URL: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1100derga.html
1. The texts in question are "Serglige Con Culainn" and "Togail Bruidne Da Derga"
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Mary Jones © 2006